Karl Strauss Stargazer Ale | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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Karl Strauss Stargazer AleKarl Strauss Stargazer Ale
42 Ratings
Karl Strauss Stargazer AleKarl Strauss Stargazer Ale

Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerguy101 on 08-26-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 37
Reviews by dippy:
Photo of dippy
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had at LAX:

Amber color with a decent white head.

Smells fairy sweet and malty. Not a lot of hops in the nose

The hops is like biting into a grapefruit and then licking a pine cone.

Medium carbonation and a medium body to go along with it.

Pretty good IPA. Nothing really makes it stand out or above any other ipa, but it is good. I am not going to search it out again but I won't avoid it either. Great Beer for an Airport!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of SBarbeerian
3.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance good; color orange-light copper as should be. Mosltly clear. Too little head with little retention.
Smell: mild on hops, even for an English IPA.
Tatse: too low on hops, even for an English IPA
Mouthfeel: medium light & true to style.
Drinkability: average at best for an English IPA, but would make a very nice pale ale. Average for style, short on hops, but pleasant.

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Photo of Billolick
3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the San Diego, CA. airport, (sad to leave such a great beer town), this one poured clear, medium almond amber, with a pretty standard tan head and leaving some nice striated lacing. Some nutmeg and citrus in the nose. Moderate hop crunch, grapefruit notes, as usual with the west coast pales. Yet another respectable, tasty, hoppy ale from S.D. No fireworks here, just a decent, drinkable APA. Glad to try it on tap, as the bottled reviews seem to put this one in the middle of the road area.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.68/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Disappointing IPA. Pours clear gold with a small white head. Aroma is stale golding hops and pale malt. More citrus than hops, but not really a grapefruit, more passionfruit, and no bitterness to speak of. As good as the Amber Lager is, I expected so much more. An IPA with training wheels.

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Photo of bpfrush
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a little more dark than gold. Good 3/8" white hesd on the beer. An aroma that certainly does not scream hops, if anything, it murmurs about it being old.

Taste, kinda malt forward, a slight spiciness to it, maybe its the very minute hop addition. Tastes like this has a small amount of brown malt. Seeemed like a ripoff at the time paying $7 for a 6 pack.

Just not a big market for these English ipa's in San Diego, and I can see why this beer is no longer made. It was a lot like Karl Strauss's rest of the lineup, not bad, but not overly impressive either. Thankfully that double barrel nelson hop ipa came around and brought this brewery into the 21st hophead century.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a small weizen glass)

A- This beer has a slightly dense orange body with a creamy tan head that last for a sip. There is a gentle carbonation of big bubbles that glide to the surface.

S- This beer has a green citrus aroma with a fresh raw malt finish coming through as the beer warms. It was served ice cold.

T- The juicy full citrus hops flavor has a soft grapefruit flavor to it followed by a sweet caramel malt flavor. There is a note of dry toffee to the malt as it warms and the finish is a soft bitter green note that really grows as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizz finish and no alcohol heat noticed.

D- This is a well built IPA with cascade hop flavors all the way. The bitterness starts to dominate other flavors but it has some good depth to the malt.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"An English-styleIPA that boasts citrus-likehop flavors (specifically Cascade and Chinock) perfectly balanced with a medium bodied maltiness and a dry hoppy finish."
Yep...every bit of that. This brew has a beautiful long lasting head with tons of tiny bubbles that go on forever and ever. As you drink you end up with 2 to 3 inches of solid lacing. Incredibly. I am told they use both nitrogen and CO2 in the delivery. It makes for a beautiful drinking experience. The primary hop impression is orange an orange peel going slowly and softly to grapefruit.
Both a softness and spiciness in this IPA is from the use of Wheat in the recipe.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I stumbled upon a bottle of this in the deep confines of a friend's fridge, somewhere behind the lettuce and cantaloupe. Knowing it's got a few months on it as production has ceased. Having been replaced in the Karl lineup with an American IPA, namely Tower 10.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Pours a mostly clear deep golden/touch of orange in color and offers an inch of off white head. Head settles quickly yet doesn't disappear any time soon. Good retention yet limited lacing.

Light hops on the nose and a light alcohol nose blending with some caramel malts. Seems a bit dry, unexpectedly. Toasted grains are dominant. Taste is dry and somewhat bitter for the style, yet without much distinction. Decent nondescript flavor with a good feel and drink. A bit smoky in the hops, but very light overall. Drinkability is kept in check, even given the light ABV, by the rich and smoky finish.

A bit too much time in the fridge perhaps, but not unlike what I recall fresh in days of yore.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
2.7/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presented in a 12oz bottle and poured into a pint glass. Dark amber color, scant random bubbles and a thin soapy head that peters out quickly does little to make this beer look anything beyond average.
Smell: though the label touts this as an "India Pale Ale" the nose certainly begs to differ. Decent caramel malt aroma is present but the hops character is diminished and, true be told, lacking. The nose has only one half of the equation.
Taste: I notice that on BA Stargazer IPA is classified as an APA. True, as it doesn't bear the characteristics of an IPA. The taste has a solid maltiness and caramel notes but the hops are very restrained. Basically, there's a mild level of floral hops that come very close to getting trampled under the malt profile.
Feel: thin and watery - lifeless.
Drinkability: hmmm, not so much. Honestly, very little. Definitely not an IPA and not even a very good APA. Bland, and one I quickly got bored with. I'll pass on this one in the future. You'll probably want to, too.

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Photo of scottoale
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Having reviewed this brew on tap recently and being pleasantly suprised
(by the taste) since originally tasting Stargazer out of bottles a year ago, I thought I'd give it another shot. Much to my surprise it tasted better than anticipated...but NOT quite as good as on tap, duh.

The pour was medium-amber with a small, non-lasting white head with very little lacing.

Smell is fresh, piney hops with citrus and floral notes in the background. First quaff is nice and hoppy with mellow sweet caramel malts kicking in till the bitter dry, crisp hop finish. Pretty darn tasty.

Good smooth yet tingley, medium body mouthfeel with the low alcohol completely hidden. Again I feel this is more of an IPA than an APA (label also states IPA) but who really cares? Easy to drink in quantity and I'd recommend, especially on tap...cheers!

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Photo of shmaltz227
3.64/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice amber color. Nothing out of the ordinary, but inviting none the less. Smell is almost sweet with definite citrus notes, especially grapefruit. The grapefruit comes through in the flavor as well and cuts the bitterness nicely, but you still know you are drinking an IPA. Medium-bodied, it is an easy beer to drink. Overall, although not the most impressive IPA on the market, a great subtle, hoppy beer. If you are looking for something with a lot of bite, this is not your IPA, but if you enjoy a lighter, citrusy "starter" IPA, this could be a good choice.

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Photo of Stoffel
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Zorro
3.82/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear dark amber to copper colored ale with a smallish of white head.

Smell is sweet and malty with the unmistakable scent of Fuggles hop. Fruity esters and the scent of leather and tobacco from the hops. Bit of toffee in this one but I can't nail down the fruit it is just a basic Tutti frutti scent.

The taste starts out sweet with a fair amount of toffee candy and a strong flavor of Fuggles Hop. Taste stays mildly sweet and doesn't become to dry. Nicely herbal and restrained flavor with a hint of tobacco and leather in it.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Very good drinkability this surprised me a great deal by not being mediocre. Exceptionally easy to drink while being flavorful with a nice aroma. This is right up there with the real thing from Britain and I do recommend it.

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Photo of RunDWP
3.9/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at LAX. I liked this example of the style, which proves on the West Coast, you don't need to punch people in the mouth with a bunch of hops to make a good IPA. Had a citrus aroma, and poured an amber orange in the glass, with a sturdy head, and lots of lacing on the glass. The taste was well balanced, with a fair amount of slightly sweet malt to balance the citrus and piney hops. I noted a little orange peel bitterness in there, too. Prett good as far as an ÍPA goes.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a darker yellow color. Around half inch of white head. Bland aroma, not much there.

A degree of malt flavor, almost spicy rye like backbone, hops aren't much there. Not necessarily a traditional English ipa, the yeast and malt flavors seem like they are still American, but the hopping is somewhere in the middle.

No off flavors, just normal down the middle of the road stuff.

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Photo of flexabull
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clean gold color, with a faint head.

Aromas are sweet malty caramel, and just a touch of pine from the hops.

Taste is creamy up front, with sweet toffee malt undertones. The mouthfeel is nice, and pretty full. Finish is crisp and with a bit of a citrus touch.

All in all this is a pleasant beer. Nothing too special, or all that complex. Just a simple tasty session worthy beer.

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Photo of MEOGDEN
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of warmstorage
2.9/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

20 ounce draft pint.

As many others have commented, Karl Strauss claims this beer is an APA (on the website and packaging.) It would do better if it was just an APA, but it would still be a pretty mediocre beer.

Visual: medium to deep orange, medium lacing, minimal head.

Aroma: some pine and fruit hops, but limited. Served too cold, but remained restrained in aroma throughout.

Taste: some piney fruit, resin, with a moderate malt back. Way too restrained in hops to be an IPA, and even boring for an APA.

Mouth: crisp, moderate to high carbonation, that drinks too clean and doesn't linger.

Overall: decent, drinkable after a couple of months in Australia in that it actually has hops, but pretty boring.

Sadly, it's better when served too cold: it actually seems to lose some of the hop bite as it warms through to cellar temp and room temp.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Can a guy take a bottle out to the desert and star gaze. Sounds nice. Does this taste as nice as it sounds?
So much confusion on style.
Pleasing hop/malt mix in aroma. Grassy, wild hop and rather sweet, grainy malt. Nothing wrong with this mix.
Attractive. Classic amber. Water clear. Nice full head of mixed sized bubbles that settles gradually.
Mix of hops and malt in flavors, just as with aroma. A little tame overall in flavors, but enjoyable. A watery bitterness from start to finish that is greater in presence than the hop flavors. Malt strongly present with a biscuit character along with graininess.
A little light and thin. Flatter than average (but that's okay with me). A tad watery, making it easy to drink.
While not outstanding this is worthwhile. Strong english character in grains and hops. Ought to go just fine with lunch.
Thanks John bro.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 ounce bottle picked up on a recent beer trip, Listed as “Stargazer India Pale Ale”, no strength or freshness date.

Appearance: Orange amber body punctuated only by a few streamers. Soapy off-white heads forms quickly and leaves some sticky lacing as it slowly collapses to form a soap suddy ¼” thick frothy cap.

Nose: Quiet with some punctuating hops and biscuit malts with some latent fruity tones. Delicate strength though.

Taste: Mild Malts and Herbal Hops are detectable by lay low throughout drink. Has a spicy feel in the finish which is short lived. Crisp and clean ending with a little sweetness. Rather forgetful though.

Mouthfeel: Thin and rather watery. Delicate feel that is overtaken by the watery mass of the body at times.

Drinkability: Easy going but the thin body and mild tastes meant that I soon got bored with this one. Glad I just had the 12 ounce bottle.

Overall: To be honest I didn’t even notice it was by Karl Strauss when I picked this one up, otherwise I may have put it back in the Cooler. On the neck label, it states “Stargazer India Pale Ale is a natural escape with stellar hops streaking across golden malts”.

This is one IPA from San Diego that most certainly does not live up to the overblown West Coast image. It only cost me $1.29 at Holiday Wines in Escondido, but I am not sure it was worth it, if you know what I mean……

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Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

05/30/06- Purchased at Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, no freshness info listed. Poured into my Pike pint glass.

Appearance- Amber-dark golden in color. 1/2 inch head with a light ring left over while consuming. Spotty and patchy lace.

Smell- Very light toasted malt, off orange hop scent, very reminescent of Buffalo Bill's Orange Cream Ale.

Taste- Wheat yeast-like taste. Mid-range bitterness. Orange and lemon rind flavored hops. Mild toasted malt.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation, lasting fruity hop aftertaste.

Drinkability- Might even call this a fruit/vegatable beer. Not really quality in the IPA dept. It is drinkable though.

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Photo of SteveO1231
2.7/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Stargazer is one of Karl's best, but still a sad excuse for an IPA.

Poured a golden/orange color with a thin off-white head. Light lacing and moderate carbonation. Served too cold.

I tasted decent, light malt character with a hoppy finish but it was rather week and watered down.

This might work for a regular macro drinker but I need a little more flavor with my IPA's.


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Photo of TheLiterati
2.68/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The package says this IPA has “stellar hops streaking across golden malts.”

Hmmm…like momma – and Margaret Thatcher – said, “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”

Still, given my other, limited choices – and admittedly, my orneriness after a tough day – I grabbed the six-pack and muttered, “OK, Karl. Bring it on. But it’d better be good.”

Has the characteristic deep amber color of a good APA and looks crisp going into the glass. A sniff reveals characteristic hops, but the maltiness is pretty strong, too, making me concerned that there’s too much streaking and not enough blending going on.

Sure enough, on the first sip, while I do taste the hops, they did exactly what the package said: they streaked across the malts – and my tongue – much too quickly, and were barely discernable afterwards, giving way to a confusion of flavors that pass as an APA. Where’s the grapefruit? Where’s the bite?

I tried this beer because after a rather unfortunate rendezvous with their much too sweet Red Trolley Ale, I found that I truly enjoyed their amber offering. It was quite true to the style and I got exactly what I expected. However, I’m not sure the APA has quite figured out its identity as yet.

Not entirely awful, mostly drinkable, but definitely not the best representation of the style.

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Photo of rxdrewthejew
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice amber color, looks like apple juice. Not much head at all.

S: Smells crisp and bitter, hard to tell what's to come.

T: Bitter with some roasted malt mixed in. Not much flavor to the hops. Very crips and clean, but nothing too special going on.

MF: Very crisp as I mentioned. Somewhat bitter aftertaste. Some warming, more than you would expect from the alcohol content.

O: Not bad, but wish the hops were more citrus. Easy to drink but not the best I've had.

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Karl Strauss Stargazer Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.38 out of 5 with 42 ratings